Celeb Stylist Karla Welch Gets Real on Abortion and Mixing Fashion With Politics

“I don’t take a reprieve from the world of politics ever, really,” said Karla Welch. That’s no exaggeration. The celebrity stylist, whose client roster includes Justin Bieber, Olivia Wilde and Sarah Paulson, has recently been raising awareness on Instagram about recent anti-abortion legislation in Alabama, which women’s pro-choice rights advocates say is the most restrictive ban in the country.

karla welch, kaia gerber, Levi's 501 Day + x karla
Karla Welch (L) with Kaia Gerber at the launch of her collection with Levi’s in May 2018.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

“What’s happened is, all these bans are taking place, so that if it goes to the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade will be overturned because we have a conservative court,” Welch said of her position. “That’s what they’re doing. So am I going to speak up for the rights of every woman in America? Yeah, you better believe it.’”

There’s a thread of social purpose in practically everything Welch attaches her name to. Last year, she worked with Levi’s, reimagining its 501 jeans and denim capsule, which included the label donating to the charity Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund.

2018, Marie Claire Image Makers Awards, karla welch, tracee ellis ross
Karla Welch (L) and Tracee Ellis Ross at the 2018 Marie Claire Image Makers Awards.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

She most recently collaborated with Dockers on a forthcoming summer collection of khakis and companion pieces designed in gender nonbinary silhouettes — an effort to be inclusive of all identities. “Everything does have a little bit of a political bend because it’s gender-free, meaning anybody can wear any piece,” Welch told FN last month at a media preview event in L.A. “I designed it in mind that I want men and women to wear it, and boys and girls.”

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